Dr. M. Larrie Blue, a retired Baltimore pediatrician whose career spanned more than 40 years, died Monday of pancreatic cancer at Sinai Hospital. He was 77 and had lived in Stevenson.
"It was fitting that he died at Sinai Hospital, where he spent most of his professional career," said his wife of eight years, the former Sima Rosenthal.
Dr. Blue was born in Baltimore and raised in the city's Pimlico neighborhood. He was a 1948 graduate of City College and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland in 1952.
In 1956, he earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed a residency in pediatrics at Sinai Hospital, where he was chief pediatric resident from 1959 to 1960.
Dr. Blue took additional training at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver, where he was a fellow in pediatric cardiology from 1960 to 1961.
He served in the Navy from 1961 to 1962 as a lieutenant and headed the division of pediatrics at the Newport Naval Hospital in Rhode Island.
Dr. Blue entered private practice in 1960 and was a partner in Valley Pediatrics Associates. For many years, he maintained an office at the Valley Center in McDonogh Village and later at the Festival at Woodholme.
Dr. Blue retired in 2003 after receiving a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
"He died four years to the day he was diagnosed. He was given six months to live but managed to live four more years," Mrs. Blue said. "He really fought it."
"He was a very kind and gentle person, you would say. He was a very quiet person who was deeply concerned about his patients and gave them excellent care," said Dr. Boris L. O'Mansky, a retired pediatrician who had been Dr. Blue's partner for 40 years.
"In those days, we spent half a day in the office and the other half making house calls. If a patient had a special need, [Dr. Blue] would read all the material available in order to arrive at the right treatment," Dr. O'Mansky said.
He added: "He was well-liked, and I never heard anyone say a bad word about him."
Dr. Richard E. Layton, a Baltimore pediatrician, worked with Dr. Blue for 15 years earlier in his career.
"He was just a great man. He was very bright, honest and always concerned about his patients' needs. He was an outstanding person and human being, and I learned a lot from him," Dr. Layton said.
"He was also an excellent pediatric cardiologist. If I had a problem, I'd say, 'Larrie, can you come over and listen to this heart murmur?' And he'd always have the right answer," Dr. Layton said. "It was a very hectic and difficult 15 years, but it was great working with him. He was my mentor."
"The thing about Larrie that's so amazing was we couldn't go anywhere without him running into patients. They'd stop him, or if we were in a restaurant, come over and talk to him," Mrs. Blue said. "People just loved him, and by the time he retired, he was treating the third generation of his patients."
In addition to maintaining a busy private practice, Dr. Blue was an attending physician in pediatrics at Sinai Hospital and an instructor in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
He also was an attending pediatrician and consultant in cardiology at what is now Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in Wyman Park during the 1960s and early 1970s.
From 1964 to 1971, he was chief of the medical staff at the old Happy Hills Convalescent Home for Children in Northwest Baltimore. He was a member of the Baltimore City Medical Society and the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland.
Dr. Blue enjoyed traveling and eating at Petit Louis Bistro, Brasserie Tatin and Victor's. He also liked to accompany his wife, owner of Trillium Ltd. at Green Spring Station, on buying trips to New York City's garment district.
He regularly attended the theater and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He remained a fan of big-band music, an interest that dated to his college years when he played saxophone in a big band.
Dr. Blue was a member of Chizuk Amuno Congregation.
Services were Tuesday.
Also surviving are two sons, Jeffrey Blue of Westminster and Kenneth Blue of Boca Raton, Fla.; a daughter, Laura Casciato of Boca Raton; two grandchildren; two stepsons, Jeffrey Blum of Reisterstown and Michael Blum of Bethesda; a stepdaughter, Jennifer Rubin of Norwalk, Conn., and five step-grandchildren. An earlier marriage to Barbara Miller ended in divorce.